2021 Program Summary
Adult Coach Mentors
Teenage Youth Leaders
Life Skills + Soccer Sessions
Countries of Operation
Janvier arrived in America in January 2020.
His family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo before he was born, so he lived his entire life up until that point in two refugee camps in East Africa. Two months after Janvier’s family arrived in Pittsburgh, the world screeched to a halt with the COVID-19 lockdowns. Five months after his arrival, Janvier attended his first Open Field session. And the next day, his second session. And from there on out, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoon during the summer of 2020, Janvier was there.
In April 2021, Janiver joined our Youth Leader program. He was excited to learn new skills and bring along his younger brothers to join Open Field’s soccer program, too. Like most teenage boys around the world, Janvier loves soccer. Open Field’s Youth Leader program presented an opportunity to be involved in the game, spend time with his new extended family, and earn a paycheck. Janvier felt like he hit the jackpot.
For the remainder of 2021, alongside three other teenage refugee boys, Janvier helped lead soccer and life skills sessions across the city of Pittsburgh. In their neighborhood program, they helped with Swahili translation for children still learning English. And when it was time to select the team captain for the 2022 indoor soccer team, it was an easy pick. Janvier is the one!
This experience helped Janvier find his way in his new home. It also laid the groundwork for an expanded Youth Leader program in 2022. Coach Yusuph shares more about why soccer is essential in providing these sorts of experiences for young people from other countries now living in the U.S.
A Survey of Long-time Program Participants Found That:
Gained leadership skills they use today
Performed better in school
Learned how to set and achieve goals
Noticed a 'big change' in themselves after participating
Say important decisions they made were shaped by their experience